Sex Offender Lawyer Rhode Island
Being accused of or charged with a sex crime can destroy your life in one fell swoop. But your criminal charges aren’t set in stone. Until a jury delivers a verdict, you’re considered innocent in the eyes of the law.
For that reason, it’s important to find an experienced sex crime attorney in Rhode Island. They can build you a strong defense strategy, fight for you in court, and clear your name. Brett V. Beaubien is ready to take on your case and build your best possible defense with the aim toward proving your innocence.
What Are the Types of Adult Sex Crimes and Their Penalties?
There are many different types of sex crimes. As you might expect, the penalties vary greatly. Here’s a closer look at those crimes.
First-Degree Sexual Assault
This crime involves the (non-consensual) sexual penetration of another person when the accused is guilty of one of the following acts:
- Knew or had reason to know the victim was mentally disabled or helpless
- Used coercion or force
- Engaged in a medical exam or treatment to cause arousal, stimulation, or sexual satisfaction
- Used surprise to overcome the victim
If someone is found guilty of this crime, they face a mandatory minimum sentence. They will serve at least ten years in prison. A different crime is charged to those who committed an assault with an intent to sexually assault the victim. They would face at least three years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Second-Degree Sexual Assault
With this type of offense, the only difference from first-degree sexual assault is the type of contact. Instead of penetration, the attacker had sexual contact. The minimum sentence for this crime is three years, and the maximum sentence is 15 years.
Third-Degree Sexual Assault
In Rhode Island, third-degree sexual assault is also known as statutory rape. Someone commits this crime if they are over 18 and sexually penetrated someone who is over 14 and under 16. This crime can lead to as many as five years in prison.
Sex Crimes Against Children
As you might expect, the state takes a harsher stance against those who are accused of sex crimes against children. There are many minimum sentences and a conviction could place you in prison for decades. Examples of sex crimes against children include:
First-Degree Child Molestation
This crime involves sexual penetration of a child who is 14 or younger. It’s similar to third-degree sexual assault, but the victim is younger in age. As punishment, the attacker must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison with a potential maximum of life in prison. After they serve their time, the defendant could be placed on long-term probation.
Second Degree Child Molestation
Although this crime is similar to first-degree child molestation, it does not involve penetration — only sexual contact. The potential for serious consequences is still high. If charged with this crime, you could have a minimum of six years or a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Another example of a sex crime is child pornography. The production, possession, or delivery of child porn is illegal in Rhode Island. Any visual depiction of a minor committing sexually explicit acts qualifies as child porn. If you’re charged with possession of child porn, you could do up to five years in prison. Making the material could get you as many as 15 years in prison. With either act, there’s also a fine of as much as $5,000.
Fighting the Charges with a Sex Crime Attorney in Rhode Island
If you don’t want to have a criminal conviction on your record, you need to fight your charges. This means finding an aggressive Rhode Island sex crime attorney. The way in which they defend you depends on your case. However, all of the following are possible defenses:
There’s a Missing Element
Every sex crime has specific elements. Although you might be guilty of one of the elements, you may not be guilty of all of them. If there’s not enough evidence that you meet all elements of the crime, the prosecution doesn’t have a case against you.
Although this sounds like a simple defense, it may not be. It can take time to build a strong defense.
Creating Reasonable Doubt
The prosecution relies on victim and witness statements to make their case. However, those statements may not be accurate. By finding contradictory statements or holes in testimony, your lawyer can discredit the victim or witnesses.
If the jury has reason to believe that the victim or witness lied about what happened, they are more likely to be on your side. Discrediting the victim or witness can be very much in your favor.
Show Motivation for a False Accusation
False accusations happen. Therefore, one possible defense is to show that the victim had strong motivation to make a false accusation. Your lawyer can dig into the background of the accuser. They may be able to find enough evidence to make a jury doubt the truth of the victim’s claims, or to prove you were falsely accused and that you are actually innocent.
Getting the Help You Need
Approximately every 92 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. In 2009, there were 273 assault-related injuries per 100,000 people in Rhode Island. While not all of these assaults involved sex crimes, many of them did. Sexual assault and other sex crime reports are made throughout Rhode Island on a daily basis.
Although people are often accused of sex crimes, they aren’t always guilty of the crime. If someone has accused you of a sex crime, you deserve a chance to prove your innocence. A sex crime attorney in Rhode Island can give you that chance. Call Brett V. Beaubien today and learn how a lawyer can change your life.